This week’s readings all had to do with the insanity plea, which is a defendant’s plea in a court of law stating that they are not guilty of a crime because they are insane. Here are 2 phrases I felt needed to be defined for the discussion on October 1st:
-The McNaughton Rule: named after an English case in 1843, this rule states that a man is not guilty if he could not tell the difference between right and wrong concerning his actions.
-GBMI: Guilty but mentally ill; defendant is found guilty but gets mental help before serving out the rest of their term
I found it interesting that only one percent of defendants plea insanity and of that one percent, only a fraction of them ever get the acquittals. I thought that more people would go for this kind of plea because they felt they had no other options (given they knew they were guilty of a crime in the first place).
I do not believe the Batman shooter is insane. One article also suggests this when it says that he had his home booby-trapped. This means he clearly knew what he was doing was wrong. Insanity is not in question here. I believe he deserves to be tried as a sane person, and even possibly get the death sentence or life in prison for his actions. As a general rule, I do not really like that so many states give the option of an insanity plea; I believe that even though a person does something wrong, they deserve equal punishment regardless of their mental state. Isn’t equality something that America had always striven for?